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Catherine Wheel


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Catherine Wheel were a four-piece band from Great Yarmouth, England. The band was active from 1990 to 2000, experiencing fluctuating levels of commercial success, and embarking on many lengthy tours.

Catherine Wheel formed in 1990, comprising singer/guitarist Rob Dickinson, guitarist Brian Futter, bassist Dave Hawes, and drummer Neil Sims. Hawes had previously played in a Joy Division-influenced band called Eternal. They took their moniker from the firework known as the Catherine wheel, which in turn had taken its name from the medieval torture device of the same name. The band was often included in the scene, characterized by bands that made extensive use of guitar feedback and droning washes of noise, as well as their continuous interaction with extensive amounts of effects pedals on the stage floor.

The band performed a Peel session in early 1991 while still unsigned; two 12” vinyl EPs were released on the Norwich based Wilde Club Records, named after the regular weekly Wilde Club gigs run by Barry Newman at Norwich Arts Centre. They signed to major-label Fontana Records after being courted by both Creation Records and the Brian Eno-run label Opal Records. The band’s debut album, 1991/92’s Ferment, made an immediate impression on the music press and introduced Catherine Wheel’s biggest U.S. hit, “Black Metallic,” as well as moderate hit “I Want To Touch You”. The album features re-recorded versions of some of the Wilde Club-issued EPs.


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  • eeevans

    can we hear the bruce dickinson orange jump suit story again? i fucking love that one, man.

    17 Apr 2:16pm Reply
  • daydream_set

    'Happy Days,' the 'LC&D' comp, and even 'A&E' are all solid in their own right... plenty of good tracks. ('HD' would be the best album in most bands' discography, for example.) ... However, like 99% of all other albums on the face of the planet, they're not as good as 'Ferment' or 'Chrome.'

    17 Apr 12:51pm Reply
  • WasNotWhyNot

    wow from chrome to happy days. jeez I'm going to have a hard time listening to this with an open heart. but there's no way it's actually bad... cause this is catherine wheel

    31 Mar 5:49pm Reply
  • Shannonline

    chrome is one of those albums I can keep coming back to again and again and it never gets old, amazing ♥

    11 Mar 10:05am Reply
  • prunellaluke

    candlesdie - me too! 'Fripp' is fabulous. I still can't work out how they got from 'Chrome' to the next album.

    4 Feb 1:18am Reply
  • JeremyAce4


    5 Jan 5:34pm Reply
  • Cylob

    Was the pinnacle of shoegaze, in both quality and quantity, 1993?

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • daydream_set

    And then "Collideoscopic" & "Wish." The 'Ferment' B-sides have been a playlist in my library for years now. It is its own album. When taking a band's entire input into consideration, CW is probably still my favorite of all time - even after approximately 10 years of listening. Anybody else remember the CW Jukebox?

    20 Nov 2013 Reply

    I just discovered the Ferment bsides. Wow. Go listen to Intravenous. NOW!

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • MaidenSlayer

    v Family members who actually listen to good music.

    6 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Smartypants101

    I snatched Ferment from my older sisters room when I was little and have loved them ever since.

    10 Aug 2013 Reply
  • mk741

    Seems I momentarily broke Last fm and ended up scrobbling them 140 times (even though I only listened twice to Ferment and Chrome twice). Yay?

    26 Jul 2013 Reply
  • mk741


    16 Jul 2013 Reply
  • slackermark

    Such an underrated band. "If you know where I come call me idea"

    14 Jul 2013 Reply
  • right33


    8 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Skygazer1

    This band is a gateway drug to Shoegaze for anyone who loves hard rock.

    5 May 2013 Reply
  • yoemes

    you need to give me more TEXTURE

    4 Apr 2013 Reply
  • right33

    can anyone point me out to the 6 disk bside collection? thanks

    21 Mar 2013 Reply
  • MaxPower83654

    flowert to hide is a real gem .

    22 Feb 2013 Reply
  • candlesdie

    How is 'Fripp' not in the top 15? That song *kills* me.

    3 Jan 2013 Reply
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